Final Reflection

My EQ is how can libraries use technology to address the needs of underserved populations.  Around the time of my midpoint reflection I was concerned that I hadn’t really made the connection between my assignments and the tools we were learning in class and my EQ.  The Learning Project allowed me to make that connection.  I really enjoyed this project and it opened my eyes to how I might use some of the tools we are learning to serve the needs of various populations in a public library setting.

At the beginning of the semester I was a little nervous about this class and the idea of learning a variety of new technology was intimidating.  As I’ve said before I feel like this class has provided a comfortable environment to learn these new tools without the stress that would normally be associated with learning this material.  There was little pressure to be an expert in anything we learned, the goal was to get our feet wet and I am very grateful for the opportunity to do that.  I will almost certainly use some of the tools I have learned in this class in my future career as a librarian and I will definitely take with me a new perspective on learning that I can apply both to my professional and personal life.

Learning Project Reflection

My learning project has changed in a few ways over the past week.  You can find the final version under the “Learning Project” page on my blog.  After reading the suggestions on my blog I have incorporated a “role-playing” pair activity so that the training is not just a series of prompts and discussion.  My assessment tool has also changed quite a bit.  Originally, I had chosen a written training evaluation that I found online.  The evaluation was good and thorough but after peer-review I determined it was too long (I would not want to fill it out so I wouldn’t want to subject others to that).  So, for my new assessment tool I have created a Google Form with a few questions using a scale and only one question that is open-ended.  

Ultimately, I really enjoyed this project.  I have never had to construct a “lesson plan” from scratch so initially I found this project very intimidating.  The peer-review session was extremely helpful and I am satisfied with the work I’ve done but I hope to get another opportunity to work on this kind of project in the future so I can hone my instruction planning skills.  

Peer Review

One possible adjustment to my project:

Developing some activities to work into the training.  Right now I just have a series of prompts and discussions but my partner suggested added some activity to engage the staff members and to supplement what they are learning in the discussion.

One contribution to my colleague:

Creating a “fake” Paper.li page ahead of time and adding content to the page like the flipped video, youtube playlist and other Paper.li instruction that the learners might review before the class. 

Reflection on learning project component

I modified my project somewhat from my original idea in my draft instructional objectives.  The topic has not changed but it has been narrowed.  I would now like to focus the staff training on in person communication with non-native English speaking patrons.  This will be one in a series of trainings offered surrounding the larger them of library services to multicultural populations. 

The focus of this and all the trainings in the series will be fostering an understanding of the various needs of the library’s diverse patrons and how to best meet those needs.  One of the things I am struggling with here is that my plan for instruction is more like a plan for discussion.  I think this kind of topic is best approached as a less structured meeting where ideas and experiences are shared by all participants.  There are certainly lots of tips and advice that can be given to help staff members in communicating with a non-native English speaking patron but I think it will be more important to try and build empathy and understanding for the patrons.  So, my “plan for instruction” is more like a series of prompts for discussion and I’m wondering if I need to have a little more structure?

Flipped Video

I watched (and enjoyed) several of these videos before settling on the female explorers. This is definitely something I would have loved to learn about in history class. The animation was entertaining and the narrator provided a lot of information without overwhelming the audience. I really like the “dig deeper” tab which encourages the audience to look at other contributions by fascinating females throughout history. This could definitely be used as a prompt for a discussion about why women (like the ones in this video) are so woefully absent from standard history textbooks.

Instructional Objectives (Draft)

My EQ deals with how technology can be used in the library to address the needs of underserved populations.  For my learning project I would like to focus on one particular population, non-English speaking patrons.  I was an ESOL tutor for a few years and I know how important resources provided by the public library are to English language learners.  My learning project will be a staff development on addressing the needs of non-English speaking patrons through free online tools available for English language learners.  The instructional objectives are:

1.  Staff will gain an understanding of the needs of non-English speaking patrons.

2. Staff will learn how to find and gather (not sure what form this will take yet) free online resources for English language learners and how to make these resources available to patrons.